The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, explained that rather than being granted a tax holiday for the construction of the road, the firm would be bankrolling the road construction project and since the government would not be paying for the work, the firm would use its tax to offset the payment over a period of three years.
He said while the company had volunteered to collaborate with Flour Mills Plc and the Nigerian Ports Authority for the repair of the two-kilometre Apapa/Wharf road, estimated to cost N4.3bn, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility and at no cost to the Federal Government, the construction of the Apapa/Oworonshoki highway would be done at 15 per cent to 25 per cent less than the lowest bid.
He maintained that the company had never benefitted from any tax waivers or credits in its entire history except when they were industry-based and applied to all its competitors as well.
Edwin said, “It is very painful when some people accuse our company of benefitting from 10 years’ tax rebate from the government. There is nothing like tax credit in all these. We volunteered to construct the Apapa/Oworonshoki long highway at a cost that will be about 15 to 25 per cent less than the lowest bid on the road.
“We hope to get back our money after three years by removing the sum from the tax we are supposed to pay.”
The company, according to him, has proposed to the government to reduce 50 per cent of the total cost of the road from its proposed tax on the first year after completion, and 25 per cent of the costs for two years from its proposed tax.
He added, “The government came forward and said, you guys are repairing the road, good enough but this road is very important to all Nigerians. Is it possible to help us do proper road construction of 35 kilometres from Apapa to Oworonshoki?”